Review: Cold Burn of Magic (Jennifer Estep)

Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade, #1)There Be Monsters Here. . .

It's not as great as you'd think, living in a tourist town that's known as "the most magical place in America." Same boring high school, just twice as many monsters under the bridges and rival Families killing each other for power.

I try to keep out of it. I've got my mom's bloodiron sword and my slightly illegal home in the basement of the municipal library. And a couple of Talents I try to keep quiet, including very light fingers and a way with a lock pick.

But then some nasty characters bring their Family feud into my friend's pawn shop, and I have to make a call--get involved, or watch a cute guy die because I didn't. I guess I made the wrong choice, because now I'm stuck putting everything on the line for Devon Sinclair. My mom was murdered because of the Families, and it looks like I'm going to end up just like her. . .




























Let's pause for a fan girl moment, please. I have loved Jennifer Estep's books since I stumbled across the Mythos Academy series years ago. When I saw Cold Burn of Magic a while ago, I really didn't think it could be as good as her mythology based novels, so I waited to read it. But when I finally got around to reading it, I knew within the opening chapter that I was wrong for putting it off.

I enjoyed this book so much!

It's fast-paced, full of smoldering romance, and a super kick-butt female lead.

Books that drag on bore me. I'm like a little kid. I want something awesome to happen in the first chapter and never stop. Well, Cold Burn of Magic did not disappoint in that department. The story is told from Lila's perspective, which is fantastic. She's full of snark and sass, which I fully enjoy. She's also incredibly resourceful, given her trade, and that makes for very interesting plot twists along the way.

If you've read the Mythos Academy books, you know what I mean by smoldering romance. One of the things that I like about Ms. Estep's books is that there is no love at first sight nonsense. But if there is, the characters are horribly resistant to it, so it takes a long time to develop. Needlesstosay, there is a lot of tension between Devon and Lila. Knowing how the other series played out, I can guess what will ultimately happen between these two, but that's okay. I enjoy the ride just the same. Even when you know what might happen in the end, sometimes just getting there is half the fun.

Cold Burn of Magic ended up being one of those books that I did not want to put down once I started it. In fact, I stayed up into the early hours of the morning so I could finish it in one sitting. And as luck would have it, because of my awesome procrastination skills, books 2 (Dark Heart of Magic) and 3 (Bright Blaze of Magic) are already available for my reading pleasure. So, yay me for getting to finish Lila's story without publishing delays. 


Anything You Want (Geeoff Herbach) book tour

Anything You Want
By Geoff Herbach
May 3, 2016; Tradepaper, ISBN 9781402291449

Book Info
Title: Anything You Want
Author: Geoff Herbach
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Summary:

Expect a bundle of joy—er, trouble—in this hilarious, heartwarming story from the award-winning author of Stupid Fast

Taco’s mom always said, “Today is the best day of your life, and tomorrow will be even better.” That was hard to believe the day she died of cancer and when Taco’s dad had to move up north for work, but he sure did believe it when Maggie Corrigan agreed to go with him to junior prom. Taco loves Maggie—even more than the tacos that earned him his nickname. And she loves him right back.

Except, all that love? It gets Maggie pregnant. Everyone else may be freaking out, but Taco can’t wait to have a real family again. He just has to figure out what it means to be dad and how to pass calculus. And then there’s getting Maggie’s parents to like him. Because it’s would be so much easier for them to be together if he didn’t have to climb the side of the Corrigan’s house to see her...



Read more about ANYTHING YOU WANT on Goodreads 

Buy Links:

About the Author:



Geoff Herbach’s books have been listed in the year’s best by YALSA, the American Booksellers Association, and many state library associations. They’ve won the Cybil and the Minnesota Book Award. Geoff grew up a very nerdy jock in Southern Wisconsin and now teaches creative writing at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Social Media Links:  Website  and   Twitter

Excerpt from Anything You Want: 
When did this start? Duh, dingus. Last spring.
Last spring, I decided I was completely emotionally ready for her, so I asked Maggie Corrigan to prom and she said, “Boom,” and poked her finger into the middle of my chest.
I said, “Boom? That’s good, right? That’s a yes?” Maggie Corrigan is intense. She’s wild and crazy and intense and I had to be prepared.
We stood in the hall at school, leaned up against her locker as a bunch of freshmen, a total wad of screaming monkeys, ran by on their way to gym.
Maggie shouted, “Yeah, for sure, Taco! Boom!” She poked me again.
“What?” I shouted back, because I couldn’t hear over the freshmen.
“I totally want to go to prom with you!” she shouted.
“Really?” I shouted back
Then she grabbed my face and she pulled my ears so my head came down to her face and she French kissed me right there in front of all those freshmen. She, like, kissed my ass off. My shoes and pants almost exploded from my body, because she kissed me so hard.
She’s spontaneous like that. I knew that then, but not like I know now. And, you know what, dingus? Doesn’t matter, because I love her. I think I’ve loved Maggie Corrigan since before time. In a past life, I was probably the court clown and she was probably the Crazy Queen of Holland, and I’m pretty sure we were doing it behind the king’s back. If we weren’t doing it, we were probably going on long naked walks in the forest where we stroked unicorns and lay upon the dewy moss to gaze upon the sky.
All the freshmen monkeys in the hall shouted stuff like, “Get a room,” and “More tongue,” etc. Freshmen are pretty funny. I’ve always liked them.
That day will go down in history, for sure. I really needed Maggie Corrigan’s intensity, energy and love right about then.
The year before Maggie kissed my ass off, Mom died. Six months after Mom died, Dad took a job driving truck at a mine up north, because we needed more money to float the boat. Two months after Dad left for the mine, Darius, my older brother, got a drunk driving ticket, which he said he didn’t deserve, because he only had like two beers after work—it’s just that his blood doesn’t register alcohol like normal peoples’ blood, because it’s a mix of O+ and A -, which is rare, so the cops didn’t know what they were doing when they gave him the breathalyzer. Okay, dingus, that didn’t exactly make sense to me, but that’s good old Darius! Anyway, he lost his Pepsi product delivery route and went to work at Captain Stabby’s, this fish sandwich place, for about half the money. Dude smelled like fish 24/7.
So things were crap and I began to lose the pep in my cucumber. I was seriously beginning to think my mom was wrong about everything, and maybe life really is terrible, like Darius always says. But then I spent a few weeks following Maggie Corrigan around school and saw how she laughed until she fell on the floor, screamed when she got mad at her friends, cried when she was sad about the basketball team losing, and smiled so hard it looked like her face might break when I told her I liked her handwriting. After that I thought, “That’s what Mom was talking about! Life is beautiful!” and so I summoned my good feelings and my optimism, and I asked Maggie to prom. A week later, we were boyfriend and girlfriend and going at it in the hall between every class period.
Literally. Going at it!
Dr. Evans, our principal, had to bring us into the office to ask us to stop all the public displays of affection, (she called them “PDAs”) because our exhibits of love made some people uncomfortable—like those going through hard break-ups or maybe the divorce of their parents.
Maggie and I tried, but we couldn’t stop going at it. Sometimes, to hide from people who might feel sad, we climbed into the costume loft behind the auditorium. Sometimes we took our clothes off, mostly so we could try on costumes, but also because it was pretty great to get naked. Maggie would hang out up there in her underwear, pretending she had to find the perfect costume on the rack–but really she just liked being naked with me.
Right on. I liked it, too. See why I love Maggie?


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